The Coalition works in five work groups, meeting monthly to discuss and execute the plan to end homelessness in Oak Park.
The Core Committee of the Coalition meets monthly to discuss each work group’s progress and to set goals for the Coalition to make homelessness in Oak Park rare, brief and one time.
Members: Lisa DeVivo, Tammie Grossman, John Harris, Jim Madigan, Vanessa Matheny, Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz, Jeff Prior, Audrey Schoen, Lynda Schueler
The Affordable Housing Work Group works to advance housing policies that address the expansion and inclusion of affordable housing units throughout Oak Park. The work group also identifies gaps in housing services that meet the imminent needs of households experiencing housing instability. Recent successes include promoting the Community Builders development on Oak Park Avenue, the creation of an Interim Housing program at the Raymond Showalter House on Austin Boulevard and the development of a community-wide Flexible Rental Assistance Program (FRAP) intended to meet the rental assistance needs of high-risk doubled-up households threatened by homelessness.
Chair: John Harris
Members: Pat Anderson, Simone Boutet, Lisa DeVivo, Henry Fulkerson, Tammie Grossman, Derrick Lewis, Greg Marsey, David Pope, Audrey Schoen, Lynda Schueler
The Community Touchpoints Work Group maintains contact with various community stakeholder organizations that interface with persons who are homeless including area schools, hospitals, the library and the police department to keep tabs on homeless numbers and statistics. Recent successes include establishing data sharing agreements with District 97 and District 200 to identify homeless children and make referrals to Housing Forward for assessment and to determine the household’s service path to regain housing stability.
Chair: Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz
Members: Lynda Schueler
Jobs & Education
The Jobs & Education Work Group is focused on helping those who are experiencing homelessness find and maintain employment in Oak Park. The goal of this group is to bring people who need jobs into contact with employers in the area, as well as get them involved in education training to gain employable skills that are useful in the workforce. By partnering with local businesses and organizations, the jobs group is working hard to bring employment to those that are in need.
Chair: Teresa Powell
Members: Evelyn Antwi-Mensah, Shefaali Bidani, Rachael Bild, Anairis Boror, Dan Conran, Christian Harris, John Harris, Aaron McManus, Jane Miller, Michelle Panock, Cate Readling, Jason Rosado, Sandy Rosen, Audrey Schoen, Gail Shelton, Rob Simmons, Elizabeth Stewart, Cara Sullivan, Rashmi Swain, Romiesha Tucker, Raheem Young
The Public Awareness Work Group focuses primarily on communications and outreach work for the OPHC. This work group deals directly with community involvement and awareness through social media outreach, event planning and day-to-day communication.
Co-Chairs: John Harris & Audrey Schoen
The goal of the Service Intersections group is to facilitate coordination between front-line service providers in Oak Park in order to help identify individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and make sure they are connected to wrap-around services in our community. The group has created a closed-loop referral process allowing agencies to make informed and effective referrals. That process will be automated in 2019 with an interactive database that includes a public portal to access resources.
Chair: Vanessa Matheny
Members: Patricia Camarena, Kathy Drabczak, April Dugal, Shannon Ellison, Christopher Fox, Yesenia Garcia, Denise Gonzalez, Jodi Green, Cristy Harris, Dominique Hickman, Kimberly Knake, Caroline Ladky, Isaac Lopez, Shelly Lustrup, Candice Martin, Adriana Riano, Rob Simmons, Gail Shelton, Sue Warwik, Raheem Young, Michele Zurakowski